History and Background:
Background: Malaysia rooted from a long history of colonizations, occupations and historical legends. From the great decades of the Malay Sultanate to the colonization by the British Empire. During the late 18th and 19th Centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malays Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo joined the Federation. The first several years of the country's history were marred by Indonesion efforts to control Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah and Singapore's secession from the Federation in 1965. From these roots lay now the heart of Asia, a land with many cultures, wonders and attractions. It's a bubbling, bustling melting port of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other people live together in peace and harmony. It is also a land of fascinating extremes, where towering skyscrapers look dwon upon primitive longhouses. Blessed with natural wonders galore, it is perfect for a memorable eco-holiday. With some of the best beaches and diving spots in the world, it is ideal for island getaways.
Country: Malaysia comprises of Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.
Geography: Malaysia is located in the Southeastern Asia peninsula bordering Thailand while its southern neighbour is Singapore, and the northern one third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei adn the South China Sea, south of Vietnam. Malaysia located at the coordinates : 2 30 N, 112 30 E. See map......
Total area: 329,758 sq km, which comprises of 328,550 sq km land and 1,200 sq km water.
Population: 26.64 million
Capital city: Kuala lumpur.
Ethnic groups: Malay 50,4%, Chinese 23,7%, Indigenous 11%, Indian 7,1%, others 7,8% ( est. 2004)
Religions: Muslim (official), Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Christian, Sikh; in addition Shamanism is practiced in East Malaysia.
Languages: Bahasa Melayu (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai. In the east of Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan.
Goverment: Constitutional monarchy. The Head of the state is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. Nominally headed by paramount ruler and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house adn an elected lower house. All Peninsular states have hereditary rulers except Melaka and Pulau Pinang while Sabah and Sarawak have governors appointed by the government.
Administrative divisions: 13 states (negeri-singular) Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Terengganu, and one federal territory (wilayah persekutuan) with three components, city of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan adn Putrajaya.
Independence: 31 August 1957 (Merdeka/Independence Day)
Climate: Tropical climate with warm weather all year round. Temperatures range from 21°C